A new study led by scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) found that a healthy intake of micronutrients is strongly associated with improved sperm DNA quality in older men. In younger men, however, a higher intake of micronutrients didn't improve their sperm DNA.
According to Dr. Racowsky, in order for an egg to have the best chance of fertilizing and supporting embryo development, it should be "mature" with one spindle (a critical egg structure) on which is attached one organized set of chromosomes. This study found severely obese women have a much greater chance of having eggs with multiple spindles and disorganized chromosomes.
The study also has a second major finding. It is the first study to show that the chances of having a baby after IVF is closely related to the amount of DNA damage a man has in each of his sperm. A little damage is normal (under 15 per cent per sperm), as is seen in the sperm of fertile men. But if the damage reaches clinically important levels (high sperm DNA damage more than 25 per cent per sperm) it will reduce the couples' chances of a family, even with some forms of fertility treatment.
Using a new IVF technique could considerably increase older women's chances of pregnancy, a small clinical trial presented at a fertility conference suggests.
In the technique embryos produced via IVF are first tested for major genetic abnormalities using a method called comprehensive chromosomal screening (CCS). For this, samples are taken from embryos at the blastocyst stage, when they have around 100 cells.
“Oocyte cryopreservation is an exciting and improving technology, and should no longer be considered experimental. Pregnancy rates and health outcomes of the resulting children are now comparable to those of IVF with fresh eggs,” said Eric Widra, MD, Chair of the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) Practice Committee.
"Women aged 66 to 74 years who choose to undergo screening mammography should be screened every two years. They get no added benefit from annual screening, and face almost twice the false positives and biopsy recommendations, which may cause anxiety and inconvenience."
Caffeine consumption during pregnancy is linked to low birth weight babies as well as an overall increase in the length of gestation, reveals new research published in the journal BMC Medicine. Caffeine is able to freely pass the placental barrier in the same way that nutrients or oxygen can. However, an embryo is not able to inactivate the drug properly, which can cause health concerns.
"Excessive uterine bleeding is a common problem we see in gynecological practices and emergency rooms. It can interfere with women's daily activities and put them at risk for anemia and other more serious health consequences caused by blood loss," said Anita L. Nelson, MD, a LA BioMed lead investigator and corresponding author of the study. "Until now, there has been no Food and Drug Administration-approved products for short-term treatment of this condition. Based on our study, we conclude that this new progestogen-only treatment is effective in stopping acute abnormal uterine bleeding."
A syndrome common in women of reproductive age may place them at greater risk for hardening of the arteries, which predisposes them to heart attack and stroke, according to research published Feb. 15 in the American Journal of Physiology, Endocrinology and Metabolism. "We have shown for the first time at the molecular level that the glucose-stimulated inflammation pathways that promote atherosclerosis and a cardiovascular event are already active at an early age in women with polycystic ovary syndrome," Dr. González said.